Lonicera reticulata (Grape Honeysuckle)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle)
Life cycle:perennial woody
Habitat:part shade, shade; moist woods, thickets, riverbanks
Bloom season:May - June
Plant height:10 to 15 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: irregular Flower shape: tubular Cluster type: spike

[photo of flowers] 1 to 3 clusters at the tips of 1-year-old branches, a cluster consisting of 1 to 5 whorls each with 6 stalkless flowers. Flowers are yellow, often fading to orange or red, ¾ to 1 inch long, with a long, slender tube and 2 lips, the upper broad with 4 lobes and the lower narrow and shorter than the tube. Lobes are typically rolled under; surfaces are hairless. Protruding from the tube are 5 yellow-tipped stamens and a long, slender, pale style with a dome-shaped stigma at the tip. The lower half of the floral tube is swollen on one side, and between the flower and cluster stalk is the egg-shaped, green ovary. The cluster stalk is green and hairless. The leaf pair just below the flower are joined at the base, sometimes forming a cup around the cluster, the conjoined leaf pair typically oval to round, the tips rounded.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are opposite, 1½ to 3½ inches long and nearly as wide, toothless, hairless, oval to round, with a rounded tip that is sometimes shallowly notched. Besides the leaf pair at the tip of a flowering branch, the next 1 or 2 pairs below that may also be joined around the stem (perfoliate). Otherwise, leaves are stalkless or short stalked; stalks are smooth.

[photo of glaucous leaf surface] Both upper and lower leaf surfaces are covered in a waxy bloom that easily rubs off (glaucous), which can give leaves a blue-green cast. Twigs are green and hairless, becoming brown or yellowish. Older bark is thin, gray and peeling. Stems are few-branched and loosely twine around nearby vegetation or form a bushy mound of stems when other support is lacking. They may take root when they touch the ground, forming clonal plants.

Fruit: Fruit type: berry/drupe

[photo of developing fruit] Fruit is a round to oval berry ¼ to ½ inch long that ripens to bright red.


Of the 3 vining honeysuckles in Minnesota, Grape Honeysuckle is the least common, as our southeast counties represent the northwestern edge of its range. The round, hairless leaves further distinguish it from both Wild Honeysuckle (Lonicera dioica) and Hairy Honeysuckle (Lonicera hirsuta) and while the flower colors of all 3 may be red to yellow at various stages, Grape Honeysuckle flowers are completely hairless. L reticulata is known in some references by synonym L. prolifera.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Houston County.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Jane - west central St. Louis County
on: 2015-05-10 20:34:09

Even though it is not shown in this area on the distribution map, we have this in several areas on our property.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2015-05-10 21:07:52

Jane, more than likely what you have is Lonicera dioica (wild honeysuckle) with yellowed flowers. Grape honeysuckle is limited to the southeast counties.

Posted by: Kristina - Upper Koochiching county
on: 2015-07-12 10:21:23

I have recently found these around my trees along my creek bed. They look identical to this, I looked up the other wild honeysuckle and it looks nothing lie it. These are definitely the leaves and flower. We also have seen a purple variety wrapped around our pine trees.

Posted by: Brett - Hyde Park Township, Wabash County
on: 2016-06-05 13:17:07

ran across this on my morning walk - The bees were working on it pretty good!

Posted by: Karin - Cass County
on: 2016-06-25 09:54:38

I live in Cass County, MN, about 10 miles south of Leech Lake and the yellow grape honeysuckle vine is growing along my dirt road. You have it in only SE MN but it's up north too. It's flowering and I identified it from your site. Thank you.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2016-06-25 15:55:26

Karin, what you have in Cass co. is not Lonicera reticulata, but L. hirsuta, hairy honeysuckle - the leaves are hairy where L. reticulata is hairless. It's mentioned in the notes.

Posted by: Fred - Gheen
on: 2016-06-26 17:11:58

We've just noticed this plant for the first time. Florets are yellow and coming out of middle of leaf, which is smooth, not hairy. Plant is entwined around an aspen tree. We are in northern St. Louis County, 50 miles north of Hibbing. An indicator of climate change?

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2016-06-26 21:19:38

It is unlikely you have L. reticulata in St Louis County, unless it was planted. There is a non-native honeysuckle vine with yellow flowers. Also Wild honeysuckle (Lonicera dioica) is common throughout MN and sometimes has yellow to orangy flowers. Probably the latter.

Posted by: Donna - Duluth,near a creek
on: 2016-07-04 23:52:05

Saw this very unusual vine growing so I photographed it so I could later identify it on this site! I couldn't believe how much of it there was. Very pretty and winding around and up small trees

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2016-07-05 07:01:56

It is unlikely you have L. reticulata in St Louis County, unless it was planted. Wild honeysuckle (Lonicera dioica) is common throughout MN and sometimes has yellow to orangy flowers. Hairy honeysuckle (L. hirsuta) also has yellow flowers but hairy leaves, where grape honeysuckle is hairless. Probably one of those.

Posted by: Carson - Southwest Manitoba!
on: 2018-06-11 18:25:33

Saw this today in southwest Manitoba. Definitely not hairy, and looks nothing like the other varieties. Identical to the information presented here. Was growing in the wild near a marshy nature preserve.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2018-06-11 18:35:44

Carson, Lonicera reticulata is not known to be anywhere in Manitoba and it is unlikely that is what you actually found, but if it is, it would be an important find. You should contact a Canadian agency or organization that could confirm what could be a new provincial record.

Posted by: Robert Breitenbach - Spring Grove
on: 2020-05-28 15:50:29

I have seen this beautiful plant in a couple places on our farm in Rooster Valley, Houston County.

Posted by: Kathleen R Fitzgerald - Le Roy
on: 2020-09-24 19:22:24

We have one of these in the campground at Lake Louise State Park.

Posted by: J Sanford - Steele County
on: 2023-04-09 11:50:51

I am converting signicant sections of my food desert lawn into a showcase native garden spaces, hoping to inspire others. I'm looking specifically for Lonicera reticulata, and cannot find it for sale anywhere. Do you know of a place where I can buy or get seeds, or a section of plant?

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2023-04-09 13:11:15

J Sanford, Minnesota Wildflowers does not track who sells what. If none of these native plant vendors carries it, perhaps one knows who does. Ask around.

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